May 29, 2009


Totally OK to bring home:  this beautiful wood table that Sophie made in studio art!

May 26, 2009


Six more days till we go plastic-free.  While the girls are considering the "things" that will be out -- see lipgloss concerns, last post -- we parents are wondering more about meals.   Now, most of our family's food either comes from the farmers' market (eggs, apples, lettuce, potatoes, broccoli, cider, cider donuts) or Fresh Direct (everything else), with the almost daily trip to Westside Market down the block for the occasional things we have forgotten.   

But in June, 95% of that store-bought stuff will be off-limits.   Once you start looking,you realize that everything is in a plastic bag (frozen burrito) or features a plastic tray (crackers), or comes in a box that is itself wrapped in a layer of plastic (crackers again).

This has been a serious topic of concern at breakfast lately: during June, there will be no Cocoa Puffs (plastic bag inside), no Smore's pop-tarts (plastic "foil" packets inside, and bad anyway), no Sunday-morning cinnamon buns (plastic tub of icing inside).  Even plain toast is tricky, since sliced bread is sold in a plastic bag.  Is that waxy paper around a stick of butter recyclable?  And yogurt -- plastic!   We are looking at alot more fruit and oatmeal.   

Steve has been baking bread pretty regularly for the past year, but only about a loaf a week.  he better step up production!

 I think we are in for alot of work. 

May 24, 2009

What to buy. What not to buy...


I am Charlotte, one of the daughters of the almost trash-free family. Today I went shopping at Claire's, a total girl store on 83rd street and as most girls do spent a lot of time there because of how I get overwhelmed. When I got home and showed my mom all of the accessories I had bought, she said I was lucky I had gone now, and not in June, because almost all of the packaging was non-recyclable and non-reusable plastic. Here is a picture of what i bought with the packaging. Here is a list of the things I would have been able to  get in June.

Able to get:
-Rope bracelets
-The gold headband
-The peace bracelets

Here are the things that I wouldn't have been able to buy in June.

Not able to get:
-Jolly Rancher lip gloss
-Lip Vitamin lip gloss
-The pack of three headbands

Surprisingly, a lot is packaged with way too much packaging. If there is plastic covering it, why add another layer of cardboard and then more plastic? It doesn't make any sense for two reasons. One, it is really hard to open (the Lip Vitamin needed scissors unlike everything else) and two, it is really bad for the environment. Please join my family in the Trash-Free month!

May 22, 2009

Getting Ready...

We are a New York City family, and we are freaked out by the Trash Swirl.  We want to reduce the way we rely on plastic.  We want to reduce the amount of pre-packaged STUFF that comes into our house.  SO...we are going to try to live TRASH-FREE for the month of June.  We will bring into our house only thing that can be recycled or composted.   

That means not only steering clear of plastic bags, but looking out for the way that the things we buy are packaged.  For one month, we won't buy anything that is shrink-wrapped, or wrapped in  that hard plastic, or anything that is itself plastic-y.

It will be a huge change but we are going to try it.   We have been inspired by the New Zealand couple who lived "rubbish-free" for a whole year, allowing themselves to generate only one bag of trash during that time.  (See what they did at    

One more week until we go trash-free.         Join us?